James arness, an american hero and hollywood legend passes at 88

What sad news to come to at the end of the day!!!  One of my all time favorite actors, James Arness, has passed away today of natural causes at the age of 88.  If you’re a regular reader here on the blog, Mr. Arness was no stranger.  He was a big man towering over most at 6 foot 7 and, with his deep mighty voice, he was an actor not to be reckoned with.  Jim was good friends with John Wayne, and together they made many pictures.  John Wayne was offered the role of Matt Dillon for a new TV western called Gunsmoke; without hesitation he offered the role to his good friend who took on the part of Marshal Dillion from 1955 to 1975.  At one point  in time, CBS had both Gilligan’s Island and Gunsmoke on the air at the same time; due to a new season of shows, one of the viewers’ favorites had to go…. The producers chose Gunsmoke.

From as far back as I can remember, I watched that show until the very end in 1975.  Mr. Arness starred in many, many pictures such as “Island on the Top of the World”,  “Hondo” and a couple of SCI FI Classics, “THEM” and “The Thing”.  James will always be one of my favorites and, along with all you fellow fans out there, we will all miss him greatly.

God’s speed, Jim, and prayers to your family.

Below are some links about Jim from past blog posts as well as a grab from Jim’s page.

James Arness




19 Responses to “James arness, an american hero and hollywood legend passes at 88”

  1. June 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    He was a true legend and an American icon to the old west. There will never be another like him and one of the nice ones.

  2. 3 DeanneM
    June 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Class act that will be missed…rest in peace, Mr. Arness.

    Love the intro to Gunsmoke by John Wayne. He too, of course, a class act.

  3. 5 Buckaroohawk
    June 4, 2011 at 1:17 am

    For me, James Arness’ Marshall Dillon exemplified the near-perfect image of a cowboy and a lawman (John Wayne takes the top spot, but only just). He knew right from wrong and stuck to his guns no matter what he was up against. I’m not happy to admit that I don’t know much about Mr. Arness as a person, but if there was any portion of Dillon in him then he was certainly someone to be admired and he will be missed.

    We’re losing our iconic actors at an alarming rate and I’m hard-pressed to think of any present-day thespians who might fill those empty spaces. Anyone here have some suggestions?

    • 6 johneaves
      June 4, 2011 at 6:56 am

      he was just as good of a man just not as vocal!!! He was a WWII hero He was a patriotic American and a great father and Husband to his wife and kids,,, What more could you want in somebody. Actors and movies aren’t the same, They don’t have the heart…. I doubt we will see many icons on a level anywhere near what once was

  4. 7 Jay
    June 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Much respect to Mr. Arness. What presence! I see Gunsmoke on TV Land from time to time and it holds up. Much like Star Trek used a sci-fi setting to tell dramatic stories, so Gunsmoke used the western setting to tell stories about people and morality that could have happened in any time and anywhere – that’s why both hold up 40 and 50 years later. Human nature never changes.

    I also really enjoy Gunsmoke on the old-time radio channel on SiriusXM. William Conrad was a great Matt Dillon to listen to just like James Arness was a great Matt Dillon to see in action. God rest ’em both.

  5. 9 evil_genius_180
    June 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    That’s a damn shame. And to think, I just got The Thing From Another World recently (after your writeup about it.) At least he lived a long life and died of natural causes, that’s all any of us can ask for. R.I.P. James.

    • 10 johneaves
      June 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      It is very sad,,, I sent the post to his website when It came out last month,, and I hope he was able to see it!!! Did you watch the Thing yet???

      • 11 evil_genius_180
        June 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm

        You mean “The Thing From Another World?” (“The Thing” is the John Carpenter version. ;)) Yeah, I watched it. Great flick. 😀 James was awesome as The Thing. He was so tall and imposing and they made him look scary.

  6. 12 johneaves
    June 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

    SO cool!!! Yeah we watched it again just a day or so ago.

  7. 13 MickRC
    June 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I loved Them! Arness, Widmark, and Parker – giant ants, flamethrowers and model planes!

    The Thing From Another World was the first movie I’d ever seen based on a SCI-FI short story that I had read. I was seven the first time I saw the movie – on the late night Friday Horror_Chiller Theatre. It fit right in with “The Killer Shrew”, “The Deadly Mantis”, and “The Giant Tarantula”.

    My favorite Gunsmoke episode was the one where he was cornered in a remote farmhouse by gunmen determined to get his prisoner.

    • 14 johneaves
      June 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Man those old movies were something else!!! Incredible stories,, I wonder in 5o years what films they will be talking about,,, most likely the same ones we are, and how bad the stuff from the 90’s and 2000’s was, HAAAA!

  8. 15 MickRC
    June 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Correction – Meant James Whitmore in Them!

  9. 16 Tallguy
    June 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    John, did you mean “Island in the Sky”? Here I was searching to see if he had played Viking #4 in “Island at the Top of the World”!

  10. 17 MickRC
    June 11, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Watched TMC yesterday – and Them! was on. Still good stuff!

  11. 18 Matt Boardman
    June 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    It’s always sad when great people pass on. Somehow, the world seemed like a better place while they were still with us. 😦 Godspeed, Mr. Arness and thank you!

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June 2011

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